South Georgia: An Introduction

Imagine visiting a remote Sub-Antarctic island that is home to the some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on Earth which is only accessible by sea. South Georgia is situated in the southern Atlantic Ocean, about 800 miles from the Falklands Islands (Islas Malvinas).

There are no permanent residents on the island, and it is home to an abundance of wildlife seen nowhere else. It’s a place nature documentaries visit to film the 100,000’s of King Penguin which call South Georgia their home.

As well as being remote, the rugged, mountainous island is also rarely visited, which means you can roam in the wilderness and see wildlife without crowds.

What better way to explore South Georgia than on a 15-day in-depth small group expedition cruise with just 48 other guests?

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south georgia map

What Can I See in South Georgia?

king penguins in south georgia

King Penguins

The South Georgia King penguins are the second largest species of penguin in the world. The island is home to a huge King penguin population, particularly St Andrews Bay where you’ll be surrounded by 100,000 of these magnificent flightless birds. There are six penguin species on the island, with a total population of seven million.

south georgia photography and wildlife tour

Seals

On South Georgia you will encounter some of the world’s largest populations of fur and southern elephant seals on the many remote beaches. 2 million fur seals (90 % of the world’s population) converge on South Georgia each year. 400,000 Elephant seals use South Georgia to breed each year making this a true wildlife haven.

south georgia wildlife tour

Birdlife

South Georgia has a total of 78 species of bird and is home to an estimated 10 million birds. The distance of South Georgia from human populations and its isolated location makes it a refuge for birds. 250,000 albatrosses of different varieties nest on the island. The bird with the world’s largest wingspan, The Wandering Albatross, is frequently sighted.

south georgia small ship cruise

Historical Sites

The island has a fascinating history from its days as a base for explorers such as Ernest Shackleton to its history as a whaling destination. In Grytviken it is possible to see the remnants of a whaling station close up along with the grave of Shackleton and Wild. Along the coast of South Georgia are other whaling stations and ship wrecks that can be viewed from a distance

Explore South Georgia

How to get to South Georgia

As there is no airport, South Georgia is only accessible by the sea. For travellers, an expedition cruise is the only way to visit the island. As the island has no roads a ship is needed to explore the many landing sites along the coast.

Secret Atlas offer a 15-day expedition cruise to explore South Georgia which departs from Stanley in the Falkland Islands.

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south georgia expedition cruise

Only Accessible by Sea

2 days

by Ship from the Falkland Islands

No Airport

South Georgia Wildlife

South Georgia is renown as one of the top destinations in the world for wildlife watching. It is home to four breeding species of penguins (King, Macaroni, Gentoo and Chinstrap), and has the world’s largest concentration of seals and albatrosses.

Nowhere else on Earth can you witness 100,000’s of King Penguins nesting on remote beaches. It is a nature lovers dream.

Where is South Georgia?

South Georgia is a remote, sub-Antarctic island located in the Southern Ocean over 1000 miles from the coast of South America. The closest departure point to reach South Georgia by ship is Stanley in the Falkland Islands.

south georgia wildlife cruise

850 miles

from The Falkland Islands

920 Miles

from The Antarctic Peninsula

1156 Miles

from Cape Horn

Did You Know?

South Georgia has no permanent populations. The only inhabitants currently living on South Georgia work in scientific research stations, government services or the museum in Grytviken on a temporary basis.

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South Georgia

Join Secret Atlas on an authentic expedition to explore South Georgia on a 15-day small ship cruise with just 48 Guests departing from the Falkland Islands.

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South Georgia Travel Information

Currency

Pound sterling, Falkland Islands pound

Calling Code

+500

Time Zone

(GMT-2)

Driving Side

Left

Language

English